Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jack McDevitt's "The Candidate" (flash fiction, free): When an AI was a strong candidate for the office of US President!

I wanted to post this when I first heard of SP's election manifesto two days back, but had misplaced the URL. Points of manifesto most discussed in media: if we are foolish enough to vote SP candidates to parliament in the forthcoming elections, they will work towards eradicating English, computers, stock trading, & farm machinery from India - apart from working towards a variety of other retro goals. Sobering thought is: it's the fourth largest party in outgoing parliament, & one of the Big 2 parties in the largest state.

I'm sure someone has written a story on most of the goals of SP. But this post is about computers. How about replacing election candidates with software?

PS: For anyone interested, there is Hrishikesh Mukherjee's humorous movie "Chupke Chupke" (1975) on "we don't want English around here" theme. But that's about a language purist - a man upset by "corruption" of Hindi in Bombay by import of words from other languages - particularly English. SP's objection seems to be related to economic issues - "looking at rich world gives us complex, so let's bury our head in sand" type.

Story summary.

An AI with the personality of George Washington enters the fray, & surprises everyone with its acceptance as a valid & desirable candidate by stakeholders.

Fact sheet.

First published: Nature, 23 March 2006.
Rating: B.
Download full text from author's website. [link via Free Speculative Fiction Online]